This week is dedicated to all women across Australia to make good health a priority. The two biggest barriers for women not maintaining a healthy lifestyle is ‘lack of time’ and ‘health not being a priority’. Women’s Health Week is the time to put ourselves first, for just one week, to start making positive changes that can last a lifetime!
Making movement part of your routine
It’s never too late to become more physically active. Thirty minutes of exercise per day is the recommended amount and will provide you with sustainable health benefits. There are many ways to achieve this, according to the Australian National Physical Activity Guidelines, three 10 minute activity sessions are just as effective as 30 minutes of continuous exercise.
Make the most of your everyday activities and get creative! Think of movement as an opportunity and not an inconvenience:
- Join/start a walking group to walk around the park
- Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator
- Stop hunting for a parking spot near the entrance to the shops – park further away and walk the extra distance
- Try a new physical activity with friends (yoga, Zumba, tai chi) instead of catching up for a coffee
Setting some short-term goals that work towards your long-term goals will help to keep you motivated. Pinpoint your ultimate goal/s and work backwards to find out how to achieve this through small, specific mini-goals. Monitor your progress regularly and be prepared to be flexible, so you can adapt to any changes you may experience along the way.
The most important rule is to not be too hard on yourself, the first few months of a new exercise program are always the most challenging – adjust, persist, have fun and have faith!
Tools to help
Here are our favourite movement tools and tips to help keep you running on the right path:
- Create the ultimate workout playlist: having great, high-energy music won’t make you a marathon runner, but it can help keep you moving toward the finish line with determination.
- Pedometers and heart rate monitors: affordable and user-friendly to measure your steps and heart rate accurately.
- Weekly activity diary: helps you to become more aware of your activity needs and the importance of not trying to fit too much in.
- Track and train with great mobile apps: nowadays smartphones aren’t just for listening to music. Fitness apps can serve as great motivators and hold you accountable for your fitness journey.
So, get motivated and get moving. As well as many documented physical health benefits, exercise releases endorphins, which can help emotional balance and positive mood, and promote overall feelings of wellbeing.
What more reason do you need to put you and your fitness first?